Heard a pastor from El Paso, Texas this past weekend challenge pastors like myself, to lead churches that influence their community. I was encouraged at the ways RiverChurch has influenced our city in the last three years, but I realized that the challenge of influence applies to all followers of Christ. Over the next few days I want to break the word “Influence” down letter by letter to discover ways we can be people of influence in our own personal words. So let’s start with the “i”
If you want to be a person of influence, you have to involve yourself in the lives of others. I hear people talk all the time about how they want to influence others through ministry. But far too many people are content to sit on the sidelines, and just talk about helping others. Its not enough to post Facebook statuses, to tweet and retweet the encouraging admonishments of others. You’ve heard it before, but its true, “People don’t care what you know as much as they want to know that you care.” Get involved in the lives of others. Don’t run from them, hide from them. Engage in their lives. That doesn’t mean to get sucked into their drama or to meddle in their business but it does mean to make yourself available to them. Listen. Pray. Encourage. Share Hope with them.
Making disciples, means influencing others. I dare you today to begin influencing the life of someone else by simply becoming involved in their life. It may be uncomfortable at first, it may mean your hands get dirty. It may mean you have to push past your protective walls of comfort. But it will also mean that you can influence them on behalf of the Kingdom of God.
Ready. Set. Go.
Being involved in the lives of others starts with joining in and embracing the narrative of others lives. Especially with those whom you don’t understand and often find yourself unconsciously drawing conclusions about. Seek out the story of others. Don’t judge their story, be curious about it.